The Legend of Mission Lake
In Wisconsin, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
This is a medium length series placed in the Mission Lake county park. There are 4 caches in the park with clues to direct you to the final. Actual Coordinates are at N44 46.ABC W089 21.DEF. The letters are filled in with the clues from the traditional caches in the series.
Parking in either of the main Parking areas of the park will give you a good starting location.
This series and the story behind it is a just-for-fun kind of series and is also placed in honor of the now archived bug outpost that was originally at the park. My personal thanks to Mr Black Cat for his wonderful help and support in placing this series and to OPS for introducing me to the place :-)
This series has been placed to tell a story… to make history come alive. The untold story of Jakub Stuczynski and the monster of Dark Lake will now be known like never before.
In 1817, Bevent citizen and town drunk, Judge Jakub Stuczynski witnessed what was to the calamity of his life and the making of a legend. And it all happened in the area of the site now known as Mission Lake park. In Jakub’s day, the lake was called Dark Lake because of it’s great depth. It was estimated that the lake was over 700 feet deep, which was quite remarkable considering its surface was a mere 52 acres. It was a favorite location of Jakub's and he knew the area well, since he had lived there as a boy.
One day, which seemed like any other, while out scouting along the shoreline for locations for new liquor stashes, a beast arose from the soothing waters of dark lake and crashed upon the shore no more than 20 feet from Jakub. Jakub froze in surprise and terror. The beast had long fins and a tail but no discernible feet. His long neck craned and swayed, his slender snout searching for prey with its carnivorous jaws. The creature could have snapped Jakub in two with one bite. As quickly as it appeared, it slunk back into the lake, and quietly disappeared.
Jakub scampered to his feet and as gracefully as he could, rushed back to town. He reported the beast to the townsfolk who ostracized him for his wild claims and his incessant drinking. Jakub moved himself and the family out of town and back to where he lived as a boy, close to Dark Lake. Though the creature terrified him, he would not be forced from his home. This was the place where he had met his sweet Klaudia, the bride of his youth, this was where his childhood memories were, this was where Jakub wanted to live out his days, and die a simple man. Though now it would seem he would live them out in shame. Jakub’s own belief wavered. Maybe he had seen only a hallucination.
History reports that within a week, Jakub had returned to town in hysterics because he claimed the monster had taken his wife and children while they were on one of their frequent walks. Jakub, as he sometimes did, was lagging behind to check on the condition of his liquor he had hidden away. The distance was enough to save Jakub from becoming supper. Convinced that Jakub had killed his family in a drunken rage and hidden the bodies, a search party went out to look for evidence, and Jakub was locked in prison. The search party returned after 3 days with nothing to show for their search. Since evidence could not be found to convict Jakub, he was released. Knowing now that what he had seen was no hallucination, Jakub was determined to clear his name and avenge his family, and he sought to destroy the beast. Jakub began forming his plan.
A local philanthropist and humanitarian, Miss Aniela Franzik, was persuaded by Jakub to take him in and restore him to the respectable man of his past and train him in the finer points of gentlemanly behavior. Aniela was well known in town and she risked her reputation by seeking to refine the scoundrel, and In time, Jakub became quite polished. He learned to speak plainly, dress respectably, and even put aside the booze. The town began to regard Jakub again as his past slowly drifted away. And rather unexpectedly, Jaukb found his heart growing quite fond of Miss Franzik. Jakub relearned his trade of law and began practicing in the court. Being in the philanthropist circles had afforded Jakub many new acquaintances that would be important in obtaining the materials necessary to his plan. In time, the rags had mounted himself a bit of riches and it was time to execute his mission.
With the money Jakub had set aside, and by calling in a few favors from his gentlemanly friends, he bought a sizable rowboat and the largest harpoon available. Using a bit of the spirits Jakub has stashed away, he was also able to lure a small crew to manage the boat during his operation. He was ready.
At the full moon, and 10 years to the day that his family had been gruesomely mauled and eaten, Jakub set his boat on the water for it’s first and last voyage. Jakub called to the beast, taunting it with devilish flair in his new vocabulary. His anger rose as his calls went unanswered, though he knew the beast was only biding time, lurking under the surface to drive him mad. This dramatic game of cat and mouse and mouse and cat went on into the evening and then the night. The crew became mutinous (as the rum had been gone for quite some time) and Jakub began to foam at the mouth in rage. At this apex of drama, the beast made its move. With a low glottal roar, it rose it’s massive head from the water, the moon glistening off the crystal fountain cascading from his arches, fins flailing through the air. The crew panicked and screeched. Jakub’s eyes grew in the anticipation of his victory. He readied the harpoon, gave it aim to the beast’s head, and was swiftly devoured whole as the beast’s jaws enveloped the ship. If Jakub had only remembered to release the safety mechanism!
But even in his death, Jakub’s vengeance would come; for as the smug beast retreated to the depths of the lake, a rumble began to occur. The water danced in ripples that soon turned to waves as the rumble grew into a shake. The shake grew into a tossling of the land. Large splashes of waves came surging from the lake as this earthquake caused a collapse of the lake floor. The water spread into new reaches of the woods and fields as the shore continued to fall into the lake with each tremble of the earth. Then, as though it was no more than a rumble from the beast’s belly, the ground stilled, the water became calm, and the remains of Jakub’s boat came burbling to the surface.
This was the great mission of Judge Jakub Stuczynski. The quake caused the lake to nearly double in size that day and shortened it to a depth of 26 feet. What became of the beast or Jakub? Who is to say? Did the beast find a new home? Was he buried at the bottom of the sand and silt? What is merely a hallucination? Or is he still lurking down there? The reshaping of the lake demanded that it be fitted with a new name, ergo, in honor of Jakub’s valiant attempt, welcome to Mission Lake. Enjoy your visit.
The contents of this cache include a reproduction of a photograph recently found with Jakub and Aniela. There is also an artist's rendition of the beast that took Jakub. A token has been placed in the cache for those that complete the series as a souvenier to add to your collection.
Enjoy an afternoon in the park which features a boat landing, playground, shelters, beach, and lots of places to walk. Expect long grass if it's in season and bring your hiking boots. Enjoy watching "history" come alive.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 08/27/2016 08:58:02 Pacific Daylight Time (15:58 GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum